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Synapse. 2007 Jun;61(6):450-8.

Alterations in dendritic morphology of the prefrontal cortical and striatum neurons in the unilateral 6-OHDA-rat model of Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Instituto de Fisiología, Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Puebla, Mexico.


We have studied the morphological changes of the dendrites of the pyramidal neurons of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the medium spiny neurons of the caudate-putamen (CPu) and nucleus accumbens (NAcc) induced by the injection of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). The unilateral 6-OHDA-induced lesion of the SNc was made in Wistar rats to produce the Parkinson model lesion. Two weeks after the injection, the testing of rotational behavior caused by amphetamine injection was done to assess the animals with lesions. Four weeks after the 6-OHDA injection, the morphology of the pyramidal cells of Layer 5 of the PFC and the medium spiny neurons of the CPu and NAcc were quantified by modified Golgi-Cox staining. The results showed that the length of dendrites, the branching, and the density of dendritic spines on the medium spiny neurons of the same side of the caudate-putamen lesion were significantly decreased in rats with the unilateral 6-OHDA-induced lesion of the SNc. The pyramidal neurons of the PFC and medium spiny neurons of the NAcc showed a decrease in the density of dendritic spines without significant changes in dendritic length or arborization. Our data suggest that the SNc lesion with the 6-OHDA, Hemiparkinsonism animal model may lead to altered neuronal plasticity in the CPu, NAcc, and PFC that may have participated in the emergence of the behavioral changes observed in these animals.

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